No. 8 Westminster teams up to turn back Linganore, 60-54

Walkling, Bollinger help put past behind 11-2 Owls

Girls basketball

January 21, 2004|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Following a tumultuous season a year ago, the Westminster girls basketball team finally appears to be putting all the pieces together.

Visiting Linganore found out firsthand last night, when the host No. 8 Owls got 15 points from Jennifer Walkling and 13 from fellow frontcourt standout Emily Bollinger in a 60-54 win over the Monocacy Valley Athletic League, Chesapeake Conference power.

For a team that's gone through some rough times in the past - including the suspension of nine players last season following an off-the-court infraction - Owls players say they've never been closer, on or off the court.

"I never expected this, but this outcome with these girls ... it's amazing," said Walkling. "Last year is last year. Nobody ever brings it up."

Westminster (11-2, 3-0 conference) showed off its new-found teamwork last night, effectively moving the ball on offense to time and again set up good scoring opportunities. The Owls shot 52 percent from the field through the first 3 1/2 quarters.

On the opposite end of the court, the Owls used efficient half-court defense to hold the Lancers to 31 percent shooting.

"We made good adjustments at halftime," said Westminster first-year coach Kevin Lawrence. "We knew they were a good shooting team."

Linganore coach Brian Mathews said his team has never shot well against the Carolina blue background in Westminster's gym.

Walkling and Bollinger got the ball in good position all night, helping Westminster to a 16-point lead near the end of the third quarter before Linganore mounted a late run. Despite 15 points each from Megan Uglik and Sami Kozlowski, however, the Lancers (7-4, 1-3) never got closer than six in the fourth quarter.

Lawrence said his team's development has been slowed by a myriad of injuries, including ailments that limited the playing time last night of two of the Owls' key contributors, Brittany Baer (strained quadriceps) and Tash Morrison (strained hip flexor).

But stressing the team concept has helped the Owls persevere.

"I think that emotionally our kids are getting along very well and doing an excellent job gelling as a team," he said. "Once we're able to get everyone healthy and keep them that way, I think that we're going to be able to put it all together on the floor."

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